Michael Peppe (b. 1954)



The Greatest hits of Michael Peppe, 1979-1982



1. Thirty-Nine Characters, 12'44", 1982

Precisely that: 39 characters, quotiations, impressions and songs selected from the 117 characters and language-cells and 91 songs and music-cells embedded in the Behaviormuisk of the two-hour, 11-language solo performance-work Actmusikspectakle V (5-8/82). Although the order was made to appear random, it infact encodes the work's musical, political and emotional import, synthesizing the themes of madness, religion, sexual perversion and holocaust. Videotape in progress.


2. Excerpt from I Have Subtitutde Myself for My Father and I have Somehow Become an American, 8'43", 1982, piano music.

Precisely that: 39 characters, quotiations, impressions and songs selected from the 117 characters and language-cells and 91 songs and music-cells embedded in the Behaviormuisk of the two-hour, 11-language solo performance-work Actmusikspectakle V (5-8/82). Although the order was made to appear random, it infact encodes the work's musical, political and emotional import, synthesizing the themes of madness, religion, sexual perversion and holocaust. Videotape in progress.


3. Three excerpts from Actmusikspectakle V, 7'19", 1982

Three very short excerpts with brief introductions, from Regions I and II of the four Regions of Actmusikspectakle V. In live performance these sounds, like those of all Behoaviormusik, are accompanied by gestures, hand-signals, facial expressions (Facemuisk) and other movements which are as completely predetermined and scored as the sounds.


4. City, 2'46", 1980, piano / vocal song

Obscene atonal funk about New York City and evil, with pointillistic vocal-noise bridges. 358 words in 166 secondds. Included on the albumm High Performance (Astro Artz, fall 1983).


5. Go, 1'56", 1980, piano / vocal music

Rock. Freedom.


6. I, 1'58", 1980, piano / vocal music

Funk. Being, biochemistry, behaviorism and the mind / body problem.


7. Girls, 3'56", 1980, piano / vocal music

Pop. Girls.


8. Adolescent, 11'34", 1979, monolgoue

Supersonic hallucinogenic narrative about the non-judgemental nuclear family, from the mouth of a Brooklyn punk - the quintessential American: a teenager.


9. Ghost, 3'58", 1980, piano / vocal music

Jazz. Suicide.


10. Guy, 5'32", 1979, monologue

Found schizophrenic surrealism: embellished verbatim shards of babble by a Manhattan gutter psycho who buttonholed the artist and brutally poetized him one impossible day. Fragments of language bubbling to the surface in a river of madness drowning an unspeakable narrative.


11. My Funny Valentine, 4'41" (Rogers / Hart), piano / vocal music

One of over thirty piano / vocal jazz and cocktail standards from a post-modernist Lounge Act currently in progress. The two innocently-conventional cycles of the song recorded here are the first of seven in a disturbingly splintered arrangement which ultimately brings the piece to a state of total fragmentation and decay.


12. Excerpt from monolgue-in-progress recorded in a decripit hotel rooom, 4'46, 1981, monologue

The first five minutes of a 30-minute work under revision. The prop-up comedy of existential dread as gibbered by an omniphobic paranoid.


From the cassette
The Greatest Hits of Michael Peppe 1979-1982 (Pepular Music)

PRODUCER'S NOTE

Musician, performance artist, essayist, film actor, video artist and stand-up comedian Michael Peppe, who wrote and performed all the music and monologues on this cassette (with the exception of "My Funny Valentine"), is perhaps best known as the discoverer and to date sole composer of Behaviormusik, an idom of performance founded on the concept that all possible behavior is musically composable. In the light of the material on this astonishing album, however - the first of its kind ever - that pioneering innovation is almost incidental; both his music - serious and popular - and his monolgoues stand alone as powerful and quite distinct achievements. Of the 21 selections on this album, 11 are music, 9 are language works, and only one is an attempt to evoke on audiotape the main baody of this artist's work. Its absence is hardly conspicious, however,: the remaining cuts represent some of the best of Peppe's musical and dramatic work it is possible to effectively capture on audiotape for the four years 1979-1982.

- William Goldstein